Market Insight

Important New Planning Laws Affecting Brown Field Sites.

April 10, 2017

New Statutory Instruments that will come into force on April 15 and 16 concerning the Brownfield Land Register (BLR) and Permission in Principle (PIP).

New regulations mean that all local planning authorities (LPAs) must publish a BLR before the end of 2017. The aim of the registers will help housebuilders identify suitable sites quickly, speeding up the construction of new homes. 73 councils across England have piloted having brownfield registers.

Please see link for list –…

By December 2017 all England councils will have to have a Brownfield Land Register. The BLR will be spilt into part 1 and part 2.

Part 1 incorporates all land which meets the following criteria:

1. Size and Scale

  • 0.25 hectares or larger, or capable of supporting at least 5 dwellings;

2. Suitable

  • Has been allocated in a local development plan document for residential development;
  • Has planning permission for residential development;
  • Has a grant of permission in principle for residential development; or
  • Is, in the opinion of the local planning authority, appropriate for residential development, i.e. not having adverse impact on the natural environment, local built environment, including in particular on heritage assets or local amenity.

3. Achievable

  • Local Planning Authority’s opinion that the site will come forward within 15 years.

4. Available

  • The relevant owner (or, where there is more than one, all the relevant owners), has expressed an intention to sell or develop the land and at a date not more than 21 days before the entry date.
  • The developer has expressed an intention to develop the land and at a date not more than 21 days before the entry date.
  • In the opinion of the local authority there are no issues relating to the ownership of the land or other legal impediments which might prevent residential development.

All land that meets the criteria above will be proposed to go over to part 2 of the BLR. The LPA must also submit land into part 2 of the BLR if:

  • Where the land is situated within 10 metres of relevant railway land, the local planning authority must, except where Part 1 applies, publicise their proposal to enter it in Part 2 by serving requisite notice on any infrastructure manager of relevant railway land.
  • LPA exercised their discretion to enter land to BLR.

An LPA must publicise their proposal to enter land in Part 2 by given requisite notice in at least one place on or near the land for not less than 21 days.

At this stage no indication is given of any suggested decision-making procedure. It is not clear if sites can lead to inclusion of a site in Part 1 of the BLR, but not in Part 2 – and there is no mention of any mechanism, or right of appeal. If land is on the BLR part 2 the land will be given PIP automatically. This forms in part the permission in principle model that the government in bring forward as an alternative to the normal planning application process. Please see diagram of model attached.

Permission in Principle Model.

PIP is aimed to give up-front certainty that the fundamental principle is acceptable before developer need to get into costly technical matters. Permission in principle will only be granted where development is considered to be locally acceptable in principle. The technical details stage will provide the opportunity to assess the detailed design, ensure appropriate mitigation of impacts and that contributions to essential infrastructure are secured. If the technical details are not acceptable then refusal on this basis would be justified.

Points of interest

  • Landowners and developer will have 5 years unless otherwise stated by LPA to seek TDC.
  • TDC determined time will be 10 weeks for Major application and 5 weeks for a Minor application.
  • Non-housing development of the land will be permitted under PIP if the description on the BLR includes scale of non housing development.
  • Within the Policy Fact Sheets it suggests that government is proposing to change policy to support the regeneration of previously developed brownfield land in the green belt by allowing them to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land providing this contributes to delivery of Starter Homes and subject to local consultation.